Bean, Tomato, and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

That moment when you google a recipe idea you threw together and find… nothing. I’m going to bask in the glow of this creation and avoid searching too hard (because really, nothing infinitesimally little  is truly original)

The idea for this recipe came to me when I opened my Dominion Harvest box last Tuesday.

Dominion Harvest Delivery

Staring back at me was a bag of Arugula. I decided nearly immediately that I wanted to do something with it other than throw it into a salad. That just seemed too… square.

So sometime between last Wednesday and today, it popped into my head: ARUGULA PESTO.

Arugula Pesto

And the rest is history.


(Well, actually, the rest involved coming up with what I wanted to put the pesto on and then settling on wanting to put the pesto in because every dinner I make is either a stew or a semi-stew-salad-casserole-conglomerate these days)

Well that was a long and unnecessary aside.

So here it is. Recipe of the (Tues)day.

Bean, Tomato, and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

Bean Tomato Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

serves 4-6 

For the Stew

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– White Wine
– 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 small zucchinis, chopped
– 1 bell pepper, diced
– salt & pepper
– 1 cup lentils
– 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
– 2 cups cooked pinto beans (a can is fine, another bean is also fine)
– 1 cup water
– 1 bay leaf

1. Heat a bit of olive oil and a couple splashes of wine over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the vegetables, salt, and pepper and cook until just softened, stirring often.

2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, beans, water, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto using directions below.

4. After the stew is done cooking, add the pesto and stir well to combine. Let cook for another minute to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve!

For the Pesto

– big bunch of arugula (I used about 4 cups)
– 1 large clove garlic
– 1/4 cup nuts (I used a combination of walnuts and cashews)
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– Juice of 1/2 large lemon (or whole small)
– Extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine arugula, garlic, nuts, and cheese in your food processor. Process until well-chopped. (I had to add the arugula in batches to fit it all)

2. Add the lemon juice and a nice pour of olive oil. Process again until well-blended.

Bean Tomato and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

Are you ready for my close up?

How about some mood lighting?

How about some mood lighting?

OK, not to toot my own horn (but toot toot) this was delicious. (If not-so-delicious-looking)

What was the best not-so-delicious-looking thing you’ve made?

Any other arugula ideas?




So lately I’ve been in the mood to do some experimenting in the kitchen.


I’ve always known and loved alfalfa sprouts, but I’d say that sprouting fully came on my radar when I first laid eyes on this bread:

ImageIntrigued by the packaging which informed me that sprouting allows for the creation of bread without flour and that sprouted grains are more nutritious than their un-sprouted counterparts. Well, I started buying this bread from time to time (because I like it) and didn’t really think of sprouting as something I could do myself. That is, until my friend decided to go raw-vegan a while back. She purchased sprouting trays and sprouted her own legumes. Naturally, I was intrigued and the idea sort of hung out in my head for a while.


(Me & Idea hanging out)

Until finally, I thought: “Hey, why don’t I try sprouting legumes?”

And that’s what I did.

At the advice of The Sprout People, I elected to buy the EasySprout:


($11.53 on Amazon)

Then, I got down to business and learned that sprouting is pretty much the easiest thing ever.

Step 1:

Soak your legumes/seeds in lots of water overnight or 8-12 hours.

Step 2:

Drain your legumes/seeds by taking the insert out of the outer cup and pouring out the water from the outer cup. Shake some to ensure that all of the water is drained out.


Step 3:

Rinse every 8-12 hours for 2-5 days. You will start to see the legume/seed sprout

See those babies grow!

The Sprout People recommend tasting the legume/seed after each rinse to ensure that you “harest” them at the best time. I gave the garbanzo beans one or two more rinses after the above picture.

Step 4:

Serve ’em up (or refrigerate them, or freeze them… depending on the sprout)

Salad of parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, and sprouted garbanzo beans with a homemade balsamic-lemon-garlic dressing

I’ve also made sprouted lentils lately:

They also met their end in a salad roughly based on this one:

The Verdict:

I enjoy the sprouted legumes. They offer a crisper taste to the salad. I will definitely add them into the rotation and am eager to move on to grains and seeds. That being said, I love their cooked counterparts  whole lot and will still be eating them as well.

Have you ever sprouted anything? 

What do you think of sprouts?

Have you done some experimenting lately?

Lentil Vegetable Salad with Broccoli “Green Goddess” Dressing

Like I said in my previous post, I’ve been making a lot of salads lately.


What I may not have mentioned was that I got a food processor, which makes the salad possibilities even greater!

This week I was inspired by the Broccoli “Green Goddess” Dressing I found in this book:


I tweaked the recipe a little but adding jalapeño for extra kick and subbing fresh garlic for powdered. The outcome was awesomely delicious. 🙂

Lentil Vegetable Salad with Broccoli “Green Goddess” Dressing



1 cup lentils (I used 1/2 yellow 1/2 green)
parsley (2 bunches), chopped
green onions (1 bunch), thinly sliced
yellow bell pepper (1), chopped
shallot (1), finely diced
red cabbage (~1/3 large cabbage), thinly sliced
cauliflower (1/2 head), chopped


1 stalk broccoli, steamed
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 jalapeño, chopped
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt, pepper, onion powder


1. Rinse lentils and place in a medium sauce pan. Add enough water to cover them by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and allow to cool.

2. Combine parsley through cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Toss well to combine.


3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process/blend until well-mixed.


4. Add lentils do the vegetables and toss well to combine. Add the dressing and mix well.


And voila! A delicious, healthy salad for lunches (or dinners) this week. Of course I had to make my roasted cauliflower, red cabbage, and purple potatoes (made with coconut oil, madras curry powder, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper) to go along with it.

What are you eating for lunch this week?

Have any yummy salad dressing ideas to share? 

Lentil & Bulgur Pilaf with Red Cabbage (or Spinach)

Ha! I fooled you! I’m actually going to tell you about my workouts last week.

Last week in Workouts
Sa – off
Su – Circuit Strength Training
M – 45 minutes Cycle
T – 30 minute Quick Cardio + 1 hour Power Yoga 
W – Circuit Strength Training
TR – 45 minutes elliptical
F – 45 minute Cycle
^^ This is what I did all weekend.
…and now without further ado…
…inspired (/directed) by my good friend Ashley…
Lentil & Bulgur Pilaf with Red Cabbage (or spinach) serves 4
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
– 2 cups red cabbage (or use frozen spinach and add at the end)
– 3 cloves garlic
– 3/4 cup lentils
– 1/2 cup bulgur
– 1/4 cup amaranth
– ~1 tbsp cumin
– ~ 1/2 tbsp coriander
– ~1/2 tbsp indian complete seasoning
– ~1/2 tsp mustard
– ~1/2 tsp allspice
– ~1/2 tsp ginger
– ~1/4 tsp marjoram
– ~1/4 tsp turmeric
– fresh ground black pepper
– 4 cups water
– 2 tbsp tomato paste
1. Heat oil in a large skillet (that has a tight-fitting lid) over medium. Add onion, mushroom, and cabbage (omit cabbage if using spinach) and saute until tender.
2. Add garlic, lentils, amaranth, bulgur, and spices and cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add water and tomato paste. (Add frozen spinach now if using it) Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until water is mostly absorbed.
the goods (cooked)
lots of spicessss
amaranth, lentils, & garlic
water, tomato paste
20 mintues…
spinach version (I actually preferred this version)
Serve and enjoy! (see above image… and make sure not to serve with rotten green beans!)

Keeping Promises AKA Lentil "Pasta" Sauce

So if you recall two posts ago I promised to give you the recipe for the Lentil “Pasta” sauce that I tempted you with via photograph. (Just pretend you were tempted) 
In case you forgot…

Lentil “Pasta” Sauce Recipe
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup chopped mushroom
1/2 cup chopped onion                              
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 cup lentils
– 4 cups water                                              
– 14.5 oz can diced no-salt-added tomatoes
– 2 tbsp tomato paste
– 2 splashes dry sherry
– 1-2 cups frozen chopped spinach
– 1/2 tbsp dried basil
– 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
– 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper
– 1 tsp dried marjoram
– fresh ground black pepper
– fresh ground sea salt
1. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium. Add onion and mushroom and cook until tender.

2. Add minced garlic, lentils, and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes.

3. Remove cover and add the remaining ingredients. (tomatoes, tomato paste, sherry, spinach, and spices) Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes (or longer).
This shall turn into…
You can serve this delicious (my boyfriend said it was probably his favorite thing I’ve cooked) sauce over pasta, OR if you’re like me and enjoy other alternatives (or have allergies) you can serve it over spaghetti squash!
Easiest way to prepare spaghetti squash:
– Preheat oven to 375˚F.
– Pierce squash in several places and place on a baking sheet.
– Bake until softened, turning midway through. (about 30-45 minutes total I think?)
Once the squash is cooked it’s way easier to cut in half. Simply scoop the strands out and serve under your favorite sauce.
I added parmesan cheese (because it’s delicious), but if you’re dairy-free you can easily add nutritional yeast or eat it as-is.
And now I shall leave you with This (past) Week in Workouts:
Sa – 3.15 mile jog – 28 minutes 45 seconds (Clearly not real a runner.)
Su – Off
M – my Circuit Strength Training Routine (closest to this one)
T – 45 minutes on elliptical (with a good magazine 🙂 )
W – 45 minutes Cycle class
Tr – my Circuit Strength Training Routine (closest to this one)
F – 3.15 mile jog – 27 minutes 37 seconds (this is a personal record for me – under 9 min/mile!)
On a side note, I got some disappointing news. My job placement changed and I now am going to be working from 12-8 for the next 6 weeks :-/ … but I’m reasoning that at least I’ll be able to workout in the morning still.

The day finally came.

I can now call myself a proud owner of Apple’s iPhone!

I received this beautiful baby from my parents for my birthday! I had been holding off on buying the iPhone since it’s not compatible with Verizon’s 4G network but then I found out that we don’t even have 4G access in Richmond so I concluded that the waiting should end. And boy am I happy that I did! This is an awesome phone. But then again I’ve used apple products my whole life so it’s like a puzzle piece falling right into the correct slot for me.
Since I’m trying to go to bed early (pre-10pm) I’m just going to leave you all with a few new things I’ve tried out lately:
1) Barley in Overnight Oats
I whipped up these babies just like I would overnight oats except I used 1/2 cooked barley and 1/2 quick cooking steel cut oats. (the cooked part is important!) I ended up making these sort of by accident in a way perhaps. I was cooking barley to make something for dinner when I changed my mind and started making something better (more on that later). So I found myself with a whole batch of barley and thought to myself: “What am I to do?” And then it popped into my head! I had gotten the idea for a hot breakfast cereal with barley from a few blogs in the past and I thought – why not put barley in my overnight oats?
HUGE success! I loved the chewy texture of the barley in the mix.
2) New Roasted Vegetables with Tempeh Sauce
I roasted the vegetables and tempeh in a baking dish on 400˚F for about 20-30 minutes in 1/2 tbsp sesame oil and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
Sauce: 2 tsp tahini, 2 tbsp peanut flour, 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 1/2 tbsp dry sherry, 1/2 tbsp chili garlic sauce, minced garlic, ginger
After roasting the veggies, I simply poured the sauce on top, mixed around, and returned everything to the oven for about 5 minutes.
This turned out to be quite delicious! It was a quick and easy meal when I didn’t really feel like standing at the stove for a long time.
3) New “Pasta” Sauce Recipe
I cooked up a spaghetti squash last week and made a delectable Lentil-Tomato Sauce to go with it. That recipe was a bit more involved, so I’ll have to post it later, but suffice it to say that my boyfriend informed me that it was probably his favorite thing that I’ve ever made.

Alright bed is calling me.


>Busy busy busy week. My week consisted of work, school, and this:

(writing a paper)
Last week I was pretty stressed out (and too busy to post! gasp). I had to turn in a paper for one of my classed two days late because of other work/class time-eating conflicts. I felt like I was going to lose my mind at times. I don’t know that I’m very skilled at managing stress very well. I usually go to the gym (like I always do), which helps, but inevitably I’ll end up doing some stress eating. Not that I’ve gained weight or anything, but I’m trying to remove emotions from eating. (unless you consider pleasure an emotion, in which case I’m trying to remove certain emotions from my eating habits) So, my question to you is: How do you manage your stressful weeks? Do you find yourself picking up any bad habits to deal with your stress? Do you have any useful strategies for coping/feeling less stressed?

 Anyways, one I finished my paper (at midnight on Friday), the weekend was wonderful and fun/relaxing. I got to spend lots of time with friends, which was long overdue!
Upon opening my fridge this past week, I was faced with this:
Lots of spinach about to go bad! And I thought Oh no! I can’t let this spinach go bad!!! So I decided to throw together Palak Daal – An indian-spiced spinach/lentil stew. I used this recipe as my base but changed a couple things and added some onion and garlic. 
Palak Daal serves 5
– 1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
– 5 cups water
– 1/2 pound baby spinach (estimated– used the above picture amount)
– 1 tbsp ginger 
– 1 tsp turmeric
– cayenne pepper, to taste
– 1 can diced no salt-tomatoes, drained
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp red chile powder
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Combine lentils and water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and stir in the spinach, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and tomatoes. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until lentils are extremely soft. After an hour and a half, stir in the salt.
When the lentils are almost done, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and red chile powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened. 
Add the onion mixture to the lentils and cook for 5 more minutes. 
Squeeze 1/2 lemon into the stew and mix in the cilantro. 
Serve it up! 
While I was eating it, I was overtaken with the strong desire to add a tablespoon of peanut flour to my bowl. What a good move! It was delicious. The flour thickened it up some and added a nutty flavor. 
I served this meal alongside some roasted green beans:
Roasted in oven w/olive oil, salt & pepper at 400˚F for 20 minutes
The next evening, I enjoyed the meal again, but I first reheated it on the stove and added 1/4 cup peanut flour to the whole batch and served it overtop of barley.
With some roasted vegetables:
This meal packed great in my lunches! It was perfectly find served cold. (Though I eat most of my leftovers that way, so maybe I’m biased/trained)
I seem to be in a crazy curry phase because I’m making another curried dish tonight! 
Today’s Workout: Circuit Strength Training
I’m happy to report that I’ve upped all of my weights! (except for chest and back, which I had already upped recently) A special thanks goes out to Annie for motivating me to up my bicep, triceps, and shoulder weights. 
Circuit 1: 3 sets 10 reps w/ 2-17.5lb dumbbells–> squats, chest flys, reverse flys
Circuit 2: 3 sets –> 10 plie squats w/50lb dumbbell, 7 arnold shoulder presses w/2-17.5lb dumbbells
Circuit 3: 3 sets –> 10 Triceps kickbacks w/17.5lbs, 10 straight-leg dead lifts w/2-25lb dumbbells, 8 Bicep curls, hammer curls, & concentration curls w/2-17.5lb dumbbells
Core: 40 sit-ups on the ball, 20 jackknives on the ball, 15 russian twists w/15lb dumbbell, 15 reverse curls w/leg lift, 30 butterfly crunches, 20 side plank raises, 45 seconds alternating arm/leg kneeling superman w/supporting foot lifted, 60 seconds plank hold w/knee taps

I’m looking forward to a much less stressful week.